What is Branding?
Business owners must take advantage of every opportunity to establish and reinforce the positive qualities of their companies to the public. Branding is a tool that allows businesses to create a message about one or more of its products or services. Branding encourages the consumer to associate qualities such as trustworthiness, happiness, reliability, family-friendly, or any of hundreds of concepts with the companies’ products and services. Branding builds reputations. It informs consumers more about how you approach business than it does the specific details of your business.
Importance of Branding
By linking your goods or services under one brand, you can then concentrate your advertising and publicity efforts on developing a single message. All products bearing the brand will inherit the goodwill generated by the brand. Consumers who have a positive experience with one product may feel as if they already know enough about other products of that same brand to try them without the company having to invest additional resources. As long as you can maintain quality control over your products, you can increase your profit margin on each product since you are distributing your advertising budget across many products. Businesses may also consider that there is less of a financial downside when they choose to discontinue certain products since the money they used to promote that product has benefited other products.
Features of Good Brands
You must create a clear message that you use consistently in order to achieve the greatest success with your brand. Identify specific elements of your company that correspond with the needs of your customers. Since brands very often involve intangible concepts, it is important that you have a definite idea of what you want to promote so that you can express it to the consumer. You will also need to send the message through different types of media, such as print, television, radio and the Internet. You will confuse your audience and dilute your brand identify if they receive different messages depending on whether they watch one of your commercials on television or visit your website. Periodically review all of your advertising and promotions to ensure that they are all consistent in tone and quality.
Protecting the Brand
It is vital that you, as the business owner, stay abreast of how the public perceives your brand. If your brand is involved with an event that the public views as negative, you must counteract those impressions to avoid having one bad experience threaten the reputation of your entire brand. Take steps to build upon a good reputation by living up to the standards you set with your mottos and slogans. If you emphasize customer service as a hallmark of your brand, ensure that you do not cut corners on service. Monitor mainstream media outlets, as well as trade publications, for all references to your brand. Investigate potentially damaging information and draw up a strategy to counter misinformation and to redress any legitimate problems within the organization.
Make use of logos and other visual elements to help consumers to recognize your brand quickly. Use colour effectively. You can either use one dominant colour that you place on the packaging for your products and printed materials, such as brochures. Use a range of colours that relate well to one another to distinguish among different product lines within your brand. The font you use, in particular for mastheads or with logos, can help you to establish a brand because consumers will recognize the style of the words, regardless of the specific words.